AJMLS and SLS Welcome New Member to the Board of Directors

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and Savannah Law School are pleased to announce the appointment of Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker, the County Attorney for Fulton County, Georgia, to the Board of Directors.

In her capacity as County Attorney, she is responsible for all of the civil legal needs of one of the largest counties in Georgia. She supervises a staff of over 30 professionals and provides legal advice to seven commissioners and over 40 departments. Prior to joining Fulton County, she served as the Vice President and General Counsel for the Atlanta BeltLine Inc. for six years.

She is a former partner with the law firm of Hollowell, Foster & Gepp, PC, where she was in charge of the Commercial Real Estate Group. She also owned her own law firm for over 10 years.

Perkins-Hooker is a leader in her profession and very actively engaged in the Atlanta community. She was the 52nd President of the State Bar of Georgia and the first person of color elected to this position. She has previously served on the Board of Governors and as a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar. She has been elected Secretary (2011-12), Treasurer (2012-13) and President-Elect (2013-14). She is also a past chair of the State Bar’s Real Property Law Section, a past parliamentarian of the Atlanta Planning and Advisory Board, and the founding chair of Neighborhood Planning Unit-Q. Additionally, she is a past chair of Hosea Feed the Hungry’s Board of Directors.

Perkins-Hooker is an honors graduate of Georgia Tech and received her graduate degrees from Emory University Law and Business Schools. She was admitted to the Bar in 1984. She has received numerous honors for her service to the legal profession and the community, including being inducted into the Gate City Bar Association’s Hall of Fame, being presented the Leah Ward Sears Service to the Profession Award by the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, being presented an Honorary degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, and being presented the Eleonoré Raoul Greene Trailblazer Award from Emory University Law School. She has also received the Phoenix Award from the Mayor of Atlanta. This is the highest honor bestowed on citizens in Atlanta for their outstanding contributions.

She is happily married to Douglas R. Hooker. They have two children and eight grandchildren.

Perkins-Hooker joins the following members of the Board of Directors:

Richard B. Herzog, Jr., Chairman

Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP

Dean Frank T. Read, Vice Chairman

President & Dean Emeritus, South Texas College of Law

Dr. Michael C. Markovitz, Ph.D., Treasurer

Honorable Carol W. Hunstein

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia

Adam Malone,

Partner, Malone Law

Kevin Ross

President, Kevin Ross Public Affairs Group LLC

Dean James P. White

Consultant Emeritus

Section of Legal Education & Admission to the Bar

American Bar Association

Professor Tripp Cited in Groundbreaking New Regulation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published a historic new regulation that prohibits nursing homes receiving federal funds from using pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements. Pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements are usually presented to residents upon admission to the nursing home and residents are often unaware that by signing them they are giving up their rights to go to court. These agreements ban all claims by residents from being litigated in courts, including claims involving elder abuse, sexual harassment and wrongful death, among other things. The decision to ban these agreements is the first time a federal agency has ever issued a rule providing such sweeping protection of the rights of injured people to access the public courts. 

AJMLS Professor Lisa Tripp is a leading scholar in this area and CMS cited two of Professor Tripp’s articles in support of this pioneering regulation. She was also quoted in the preamble: “Tripp notes that ‘residents of nursing homes are frail and elderly people who are completely dependent on the facility and its employees for their safety and health. Thus, many residents and their families would not oppose the arbitration provision because they are fearful of antagonizing the facility.’” If you see Professor Tripp around campus, be sure to congratulate her on her accomplishment and thank her for her work on behalf of nursing home residents across the country.

Alpa Amin Selected as Top 40 Under 40

Atlanta’s John Marshall Alumnus, Alpa Amin, was recently named one of Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40.The 2016 Georgia Trend 40 Under 40 represent a plethora of professions. The 40 selected were chosen from nominations made by readers of Georgia Trend throughout the state and the final selections were made by the editorial staff.

Ms. Amin is the Lead Attorney for the Victims of Violence Project at the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network. In her role of Lead Attorney, Ms. Amin recruits, trains and mentors volunteer attorneys from the Atlanta legal community and provides direct representation to immigrant victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault who need assistance with filing T-visas, U-visas, and VAWA Self-Petitions/Battered Spouse Waivers. She works closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement and is a frequent guest speaker on issues surrounding vulnerable immigrant communities.

This is quite an impressive accomplishment, Alpa, but so well deserved. Thank you for all that you do for our community.

AJMLS Hosts Atlanta Citizen Review Board

On September 8, 2016 Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School hosted the Atlanta Citizen Review Board (“ACRB”) for a Community Board Meeting in the Blackburn Conference Center. This Community Board Meeting provided an opportunity for citizens of Atlanta to listen to a Report from the Executive Director of the ACRB, Mr. Lee Reid II, and hear updates on various complaints and ongoing investigations within the community.

The Atlanta Citizens Review Board was established by ordinance as an independent agency in 2007 (and amended with subpoena power in May 2010) to ensure that city departments of Atlanta that are directly responsible for public safety, such as the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and the Department of Corrections, have the proper support of government and its various agencies. The ACRB is designed to provide oversight of misconduct accusations against sworn members of the police and corrections departments in the City of Atlanta.

The ACRB provides an independent and credible forum for complaints and accusations to be assessed. It is also designed to help prevent future incidents of police or corrections misconduct and abuses of civil rights. For more information on the Atlanta’s Citizen Review Board and its programs, please click here.

 

SALT Awards 2016 Junior Faculty Teaching Award to Professor Harpalani

Savannah Law School Professor Harpalani has been awarded the esteemed 2016 Junior Faculty Teaching Award by the Society of American Law Teachers (‘SALT’). The award recognizes an outstanding and emerging law professor who demonstrates a commitment to justice, equality and academic excellence. Professor Harpalani was selected for the award among a field of highly deserving nominees.

Professor Harpalani is truly a quality professor who values a commitment to social justice, diversity, and access in his teaching, scholarship and service. He is very much deserving of this national accolade.

The award will be given at the SALT Annual Members Meeting at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on September 30th. When you see Professor Harpalani on campus, be sure to pass along your congratulations. This is a prestigious award and Professor Harpalani is a wonderful representation of the quality of education at Savannah Law School.

SBA Student Representative Elections Results

The results of the SBA Student Representative Elections are in!

Please see below the list of 2016-2017 SBA Student Representatives:

1L Full-time Section A Representatives: Dwight Harris and Mikah Fuller
1L Full-time Section B Representatives: Samantha Beskin and Randy Williams
1L Criminal Justice Honors Representative: Jasmine Davis
1L Part-time Student Representatives: Bianca Hancock and Tasha Lumpkin
2L Full-time Student Representatives: Kamaria Womack and John Brumfield
2L Criminal Justice Honors Representative: Calvana Cedant
2L Part-time Student Representatives: Alexa Callaway and Randall Mixon
3L Full-time Student Representatives: Emmanuela Saint-Jean and Sharon Payne
3L Part-time Student Representative: Megan McCulloch
4L Part-time Student Representative: Alicia Thompson

Please congratulate your new student representatives! Thank you to all the candidates and students who participated in the SBA electoral process!

Remember, continue to Be Present. Be Intentional. Be Impactful.

Professor Jaffe Quoted in The Wrap

Robert Sepúlveda Jr. is Logo TV’s lead in the network’s first same-sex dating show, Finding Prince Charming. He is threatening to sue online cyberbullies for “targeted harassment, shaming and bullying.” Sepúlveda Jr. turned to Instagram to fire back at those he feels have bullied him and stated “if you come for me, we will come for you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.” This transpired following revelations that Sepúlveda Jr. worked as a male prostitute while in college. Members and activists within the gay community were outraged to learn of Sepúlveda Jr.’s past.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Associate Professor Elizabeth Jaffe was quoted in the article. “It’s unclear who he intends to sue,” Jaffe said. “But I think it would be difficult for him to make that case. If people are saying ugly things about him, it doesn’t necessarily rise to the level of cyberbullying.” In our modern social media world, anti-bullying laws that have an electronic harassment provision are currently an area of evolution within the law. Thank you Professor Jaffe for your comments on such a relevant legal discussion.

#StayMadAbby: The Politics, Promise and Perplexity of Fisher II

Professor of Law Tanya Washington will address students at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School during the AJMLS Chapter of the American Constitution Society’s Constitution Week. The event, #StayMadAbby: The Politics, Promise and Perplexity of Fisher II, promises to be a thought-provoking discussion on the status of affirmative action and equal protection under the law.

September 17, 2016 marks a pivotal day in our nation’s history: the 229th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The ACS John Marshall Law Student Chapter is recognizing this event through a week of activities leading up to September 17, 2016. The event to be held on September 15th centers on the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee and affirmative action programs.  The hashtag, #staymadabby, created by social media followers as a response to the recent Fisher II case, will be addressed by Professor Washington at the event.

Professor Washington earned her J.D. from The University of Maryland School of Law and her LL.M. from Harvard Law School. Professor Washington has been teaching Civil Procedure I and II, Family Law, Education Law and Race and Law at Georgia State University College of Law for the past thirteen years. Her research and scholarship focus on issues related to educational equity and issues arising at the intersection of domestic relations, race and children’s constitutional rights. Additionally, her efforts to expand and deepen the pipeline of students entering law school earned her recognition in 2013 as one of 50 minority law professors under 50 making an impact in legal education.

The event will take place on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 5:15 p.m. in Room 304. All viewpoints are welcomed and encouraged to attend and dinner will be provided. For more information on the American Constitution Society, please visit www.acslaw.org and by searching Facebook under the name AJMLS ACS Chapter.

Georgia Bar Celebrates 100 Years of Women in the Profession

Alumna and 2011 AJMLS graduate Virginia (Ginger) Arnold recently had the honor of taking part in a panel discussion during the State of Georgia YLD Women in the Profession Committee’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s admission in to the practice of law. The event took place at the State Bar Headquarters earlier this month.

Speaking on the panel with Arnold was Senior Judge Dorothy Beasley. Judge Beasley was the first woman judge in Fulton County and the first woman on the state Court of Appeals. Since her retirement, she has remained active in the legal community. She challenged the women practitioners in our state to seek leadership roles in the profession. Currently more than half of law students are female and that number is rising.

When asked about her participation in the panel, Arnold stated that “it was an honor to be on this panel with esteemed attorneys and judges.” You can read more about the celebration here. Thank you for your participation, Ginger!

Alumna Janie Parks Varnell Learned How to Practice Law During her Time at AJMLS

Alumna and 2012 graduate Janie Parks Varnell currently practices as a criminal defense attorney with the firm Davis & Hoss in Chattanooga, TN. Varnell represents individuals charged with crimes in state and federal court. Notably, Varnell was recently featured in an Editorial in the Hamilton County Herald. The article focused on Varnell’s belief that her education taught her how to practice law.
While a student, Varnell took advantage of all that AJMLS had to offer and made the most of her legal education. She emphasizes that she did not just learn about the law, but more importantly she learned how to practice it. In particular, Varnell reported that Professor Mears took her under his wing during her time at AJMLS and spent a substantial amount of time explaining the ins and outs of practicing law to her. The Editorial reports that Varnell will always be indebted to Professor Mears because he took the time to explain to her how to be a lawyer.
Varnell is a member of the 2015 graduating class of Leadership Chattanooga. More information can be found on Varnell by visiting the Davis & Hoss website here. Best of luck to Janie on her future endeavors and congratulations on her numerous post-graduate accomplishments thus far.